|Martigny : eating and drinking|
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Place Centrale is where it happens in Martigny – though “it” covers little more than sitting around under the trees at pleasant terrace cafés eating plates of chips and drinking beer. Ranged along one side are bustling Café de la Place, specializing in fondues and raclettes (Fr.15–20), and adjacent Barock and Les Platanes, all of which get crammed on summer evenings churning out meals, beers and coffees to all and sundry. You’d do better down in the Bourg: the AubergePoste-Bourg offers inexpensive Valaisian dishes (Fr.16 or so), while the Hôtel des Trois Couronnes, 8 Place du Bourg (027/723 21 14; closed Sun & Mon) is an old traditional-style auberge from 1609, no longer offering lodging, but still serving up quality French cuisine, with menus at Fr.20 and up – go for the house speciality of kidneys in garlic. Back up near Place Centrale, Le Lion d’Or, 1 Avenue du Grand-St-Bernard, makes its own fresh pasta, and has quality pizzas and other Italian favourites such as osso bucco (closed Sun & Mon). The Gault & Millau recommmended Kwong-Ming, Place de Rome (027/722 45 15; closed June), serves up perfect Chinese dishes in a calm, darkwood interior or al fresco beside the interior garden; lunch menus can be Fr.20, rising to double that in the evening, or you could go for a cheaper takeaway instead. Nearby, the tearoom on the seventh floor of the Forclaz-Touring hotel has panoramic views over the town and along both valleys.
As for drinking, there’s a string of divey pubs along
Avenue de la Gare, including the rough-and-ready White Horse. Otherwise,
the bar in the nearby Casino cinema, open daily until midnight, is a
more civilized joint. Alternatively you could head down to Les Arcades,
an atmospheric bar in a vaulted cellar at 31 Rue du Bourg, one of a handful
of sociable taverns in the area.
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